There are a couple of reasons you’d want to ship your golf clubs? Either you’re playing away from home, perhaps internationally, or you’ve sold your clubs and need to get them to the buyer.
Taking your golf bag along for your travels can be very cumbersome and cause delays waiting for it at the terminal if it was not misplaced by the airline. This could put a major downer on an otherwise exciting experience.
In addition, since the 2nd hand golf club market is so big, most courier companies are willing to advise you on how to ship your clubs, nationally or internationally. Some courier services specialize in this niche market.
Here’s how to ship those clubs and the best options and prices to do so.
The 4 Steps of Shipping Golf Clubs:
1. Finding and Scheduling The Courier Service
Searching for the best courier service to ship your clubs could be a long and arduous task. Most of the major courier services companies will ship your golf clubs but some specialized companies can do it cheaper due to bulk discounts that they have negotiated with the major courier services.
The specialized companies have a more in-depth knowledge of the process required to collect and deliver your golf clubs efficiently. Furthermore, they know the process of replacing your clubs in the unfortunate case that the clubs disappear.
Find a courier service that has a website that is easy to navigate and will supply all the information that you require.
Although most of the courier companies deliver your golf clubs on time there may be times where unexpected delays occur. Send your golf clubs off on holiday a few days before you leave to avoid unnecessary stress when you arrive at your destination.
Some of the companies most frequently used for shipping golf clubs are:
2. Prepare The Packaging
To prepare the package you will require some information about your golf clubs to determine what size box you will have to purchase. Some courier companies will not accept the normal golf travel bag on its own but will accept it if it is sealed within a box.
With the shipping of golf clubs becoming increasingly popular any manufacturers of golf boxes have designed and manufactured specialized boxes for transporting golf clubs.
The longest club in your bag would be your driver and the average length of the shaft ranges from 43 inches to 45 inches so ensure that the box is high enough to cater for the shaft and the clubhead.
Before placing your clubs in the box, it is advisable to wrap the club in bubble wrap and cover the clubheads of your woods and hybrids in additional bubble wrap.
Tie your clubs tightly together with some polystyrene packing chips between them to avoid scuffing and moving between the clubs.
Add 2 inches of packaging chips or bubble wrap at the bottom of the box for extra protection.
Place the clubs into the box leaving approximately 2 inches between the clubs and the inner edge of the box to protect your clubs from any impact on the box.
Place the documentation on the side of the box containing all the information and destination. This is normally supplied by the courier services company.
Close the box and seal with packaging tape in both vertical and horizontal directions taking additional care to protect the corners of the boxes. Should you require to cover the shipping instructions make sure that you use transparent packaging tape.
3. Collection of Golf Clubs
Arrange with the courier company to collect your golf clubs 3 to 5 days before your departure to ensure that you have the best chance of having them available when you arrive at the destination
4. Deliver The Clubs To The Destination
Notify the destination that you have shipped your clubs and the date that they can expect to receive your golf clubs. Check whether any storage fees will be required for the period from delivery until you arrive.
5. The Cost of Shipping Golf Clubs
Due to the rapid rise in demand, the costs have reduced to make it more affordable for the average golfer to ship their clubs. Although not cheap it is more affordable now than ever before.
Airlines & Baggage Fees
Fees for checking in baggage fees are big business for airlines and companies that run airports. The annual revenue generated by this runs at approximately $5 billion. You can sometimes pay more for adding additional baggage such as a golf bag than the price charged by courier companies.
The extra costs do not stop at the airline though, there are taxi companies that charge additional for large baggage.
Depending on the airline that you are using, taking your golf clubs with you could be cost-effective. Southwest Airlines will allow your golf bag to be checked as part of your allowable baggage if it is one of the two allowable bags.
American Airlines on the other hand will charge a $150 fee for bags exceeding 51 pounds. This applies to each leg of your trip thus a return trip could easily cost $300. United Airlines will add your bag to your allowance but charges a hefty overweight charge.
Be sure to understand the conditions of the airline that you are traveling on. The rules differ from one airline to the next.
Prices ranging from as low as $39.99 up to $499 are common but it depends on your requirements and how soon you want the clubs delivered.
There are the additional costs for insurance that must be taken into consideration to cover your losses in case something out of the ordinary happens to your golf clubs.
The information provided is based on experience, but you should obtain a quote before making your final decision. Remember that the cheapest price is not always the best option.
Traveling with your golf bag as part of your baggage will detract from your travel experience and could easily cause delays at the airport while you have to wait for the airline to unload your golf clubs. This is often the last item offloaded. The best option might depend on your destination and budget.
Many specialized courier services can deliver a great service and ensure that your clubs are safe and ready for you to start playing as soon as you arrive at your destination.
Do your research and look at references from golfers that have used the service. The cheapest is not always the best and you do not want to arrive at your destination and wait for your clubs to be delivered.
Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.